In today’s on-the-go world, thinking “simple” almost always brings a smile. And it’s doubly pleasing when you see simple, yet elegant, ideas that work in a modern kitchen. But “simple” isn’t necessarily minimalist, nor does it have to be bare or boring, as the experts at Diamond Kitchen and Bath can explain. Here are a few principles to keep in mind when planning your simple, sleek space.
1. Simple Keeps “Stuff” Out of the Way
Let’s face it: most of us accumulate a lot of “stuff” as we settle into our homes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’ve got good, efficient storage places. It’s when your collections, equipment, or “toys” start overflowing onto counters and tables that clutter ensues, and clutter’s been shown to increase your stress levels. What to do?
Head that stress off at the pass by building in more cabinet and shelf space than you think you’ll ever need. (You don’t have to try to fill it up, either: that’ll happen on its own. Trust us. ) Hidden compartments for trash cans, storage of odd-shaped items (such as foil and wrap boxes and oversized kitchen tools), and “appliance garages” tucked beneath overhead cabinets will all contribute to streamlined, uninterrupted sight lines…something you’ll especially appreciate if you have an open-plan kitchen and entertaining space.
2. Simple Has a Courageous, Colorful Side.
Neutral colors make for traditionally soothing environments, but that doesn’t mean you need to have a bland color palette around you, either. “Simple” means more than beige, sand, or off-white! Dove-gray, terracotta red, wine, umber, steel blue, or vanilla are all “neutrals” in their own rights when used with the right complements.
A vivid red accent wall is right at home with white cabinets or appliances — and can make a small kitchen look brighter and more spacious. And you needn’t worry if you fall in love with a citrus-hued patterned tile backsplash or have always wanted a sky-blue ceiling or a purple mixer. Planning the rest of your space to work well with these or other splashes of color will make you smile every time you turn on the coffeemaker!
3. Simple Works Hard for the Money
Very few things make a simple kitchen more effective than furnishings or décor that “expand” both its space and its function. A kitchen island of sufficient size provides not only prep space but, with seating on one side, is a handy breakfast or snack bar. An elongated counter that ends in an “L” shape has an end that doubles as a dining table. Differentiating between tile flooring and wood, or carpeting at the border of the work area delineates a “dining room” where there actually isn’t one. Any time a kitchen island, counter, or table can serve more than one purpose is a bonus: the illusion of extra space, well-used, makes the simple kitchen a true center of activity as well as the meal and social center for your home.
4. Simple Uses Its Head and Saves Its Heels
No matter how large or small your kitchen is, think in terms of saving steps and you’ll also simplify cooking, cleaning, and maintenance. The standard “triangle” is a foundation of kitchen design for a good reason: it does just that. Arranging your cooktop, sink, and refrigerator in a triangle pattern cuts down on excess walking or traffic interrupting your flow; it also allows for more than one cook to work comfortably, even in a compact kitchen area. And cleaning up is a snap, too, when you’re not dealing with cooktop-splatters constantly on your fridge door or a sink that seems to be at one end of a long corridor. You might think that in a large kitchen, the traffic pattern doesn’t matter as much — but use the triangle for it, too, and you’ll be amazed how much easier “getting around” space is for everybody.
5. Simple Is Easy on the Eye.
When your cabinetry is quality wood, your appliances are the best you can afford, and your countertops are long-lasting granite, quartz, or concrete, the only thing left to make your simple, sleek kitchen perform in top-flight style is great lighting. Task lighting for islands, under-cabinet lighting for countertops, and — ideally — some source of natural light all work to make your kitchen a great place to be for meals, friendly cups of tea, and family game nights. Whether your style is industrial chandeliers, pot lights, or Tiffany glass, make sure you’re planning for seeing your space in its best light and you’ll love being there.
All of these basics are just that — basics. Uncluttered lines, dual-purpose spaces, comfortable tables and chairs, and ample storage are all things a kitchen designer can make sure you have, within your budget and to your taste. Consult us at Diamond Kitchen and Bath and we’ll make your kitchen SIMPLY terrific!